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Summer Twos

Summer Twos brings an uncanny state of insomnia to the littlest members of your family

Spending the summer in a bungalow colony year after year has led me to coin a new term: Summer Twos. Combining the concept of summer blues and the terrible twos, those of us privileged enough to live in ramshackle huts situated in an oasis of greenish mud with (at least) one child under the age of three have a special understanding of the term.

Summer Twos is that feeling of dread that envelops a woman’s heart when she hasn’t seen her two-year-old for four minutes. It’s the way her brain turns to mush while her lips yell, “Have you seen him?” to anyone within hearing distance.

This part of Summer Twos comes with its own checklist. Check the pool. Behind Fried’s bungalow. By the tall grass where the deer was spotted last week. Near the tree that a bear climbed last year. As the items get crossed off, the danger of Summer Twos both decreases and increases, because, where is he?

And then there’s the all-clear signal that sounds like a siren wailing, “I found him!” followed by sticky ices-covered kisses and admonishments onto deaf ears to “tell Mommy where you’re going next time!”

Summer Twos also carries side effects due to the absence of a personal washing machine for said individual under three. Spending the summer in the Catskills without one’s own washing machine is tough enough. Trying that same feat while living with a dirt-attractor is virtually impossible.

The upstate gadgets only resemble real washing machines visually; they sound like dying vacuum cleaners, function as lost-and-found centers, and charge coins like soda machines. These contraptions-cum-washers that get shocked into use in the first weekend in July and then churn endlessly for the duration of the summer months cannot properly handle Summer Twos.

Summer Twos need its own commercial-grade machine, fully equipped with a heavy mud-removal cycle, sanitizer for the accident-prone, hardened playdough separator, red and  blue ices cleanser, and Shabbos clothes reset-er. And yes, all of those for the articles of clothing we’ve carefully selected, matched after much deliberation, folded and packed, and will most likely not recognize by the end of the summer due to ingrained stains and gaping tears.

If you plan to develop a case of Summer Twos this summer, symptoms can be alleviated with the Band-Aid dispenser gadget. Summer Twos leads to ingenious ideas of aches and scrapes. From falling off little tricycles to thinking that someone pushed them, all toddler ills can be erased with the application of the marvelous Band-Aid.

The more you have, the more you’ll use, but the results are long-lasting. No matter where you apply them, these Band-Aids will have the ability to quiet wails and reestablish peace in the colony.

If you feel as though someone is constantly pulling at your skirt, then chances are, you’ve caught ’em Twos. In a logic-defying state of affairs, despite the fact that you’re always looking for your little one, she’s always pulling at you and crawling under your feet. This phenomenon is actually quite common to Summer Twos sufferers. It’s the secure feeling you have, knowing that someone has your skirt.

Finally, Summer Twos brings an uncanny state of insomnia to the littlest members of your family. No matter how sleep trained he was before you loaded the packages onto the truck, no matter how many or how long his naps were back home — your carefully constructed schedule is over.

The young population now smells that you want to take a brisk walk, swim, daven, or schmooze, and they develop amazing skills like keeping their eyes wide open even though they haven’t slept in 48 hours. They learn to navigate obstacle courses and when necessary, acquire amazing acrobatic moves never achieved before, like crawling out of their cribs. Not to worry, it’s all part of the symptoms.

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 653)

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